To Read: Click on song title to watch a video
from ‘Les Miserables’
God on high, hear my prayer
In my need, you have always been there
He is young, he’s afraid
Let him rest, heaven blessed.
Bring him home (repeats)
He’s like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die, one by one
How soon they fly, on and on
And I am old, and will be gone.
Bring him peace, bring him joy
He is young, he is only a boy
You can take, you can give
Let him be. Let him live
If I die, let me die. Let him live
Bring him home (repeats)
From the Scriptures:
While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Today is the ‘already and not yet’ day. Standing this side of the Resurrection we know tomorrow will be the first of all days but we aren’t quite there yet. Having spent 39 days getting ready for the day we have to wait ‘One Day More’.
So today is the getting ready day, flowers will be arranged, the church brass will be polished, freshly-pressed altar linen will be laid out, and then we wait for the dawn.
What will we do with this time? If your devotion in Holy Week has been intense and busy this afternoon may be a time to relax and perhaps catch a little extra shuteye. But is there more we can do?
With Jean Valjean and Marius we stand at a moment of exchange. Our Beloved has loved us to death and will rise to prove to all creation that Love Never Dies. Learning from our Beloved’s Love are we willing to die a little in return so that we can live more fully?
Today is a day when we have the time to stop and take a breath before we jump into the new life of tomorrow. Today is a good day to give up what we gave up for Lent and decide what we are going to take on for the rest of the new life that was won for us yesterday.
It may be that what you have done for Lent you will carry on for longer. My own last minute discipline of going without a wristwatch is likely to be continued for some ‘time’ yet. It may be that today is the day where we take a clean piece of paper and write out a kind of spiritual ‘bucket list’ of things that it would be good to change in our lives before we meet Our Beloved face to face – if you’re stuck for ideas the internet has plenty.
Today is a day of preparation of our place of worship, maybe it’s also a good day to prepare our souls for eternity?
Your Spirit told us
through the mouth of Paul
that the whole earth
and we too
as your children
in the pains of a birth!
It is easy, Lord,
to grasp and affirm this.
For there are passages
so filled with anguish
that the image really applies:
they are labour pains!
Something is being born.
A world in which men and women can breathe,
a more just, a more human world!
Dom Helder Camara, Brazil
Encore: Click on song title to watch a video
Holy Saturday can feel like an ‘empty day’ and Eponine’s song On my Own describes how you some may feel. However Les Miserables also has a sung for the day after the empty day. We have only One Day More to wait. Anyone want to whisper an ‘Alleluia’?
Prayers are from ‘Prayers Encircling the World’ and are copyright © SPCK: 1998.
Scripture quotations are copyright © New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
These Reflections, ‘A Song for Lent – 40 Days in the West End’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2018